Helm/parallel chain  

Sunday, July 29, 2007

This is the name of this chainmail weave I just conquered today. It's not a difficult one to do, but it's not the easiest either. And you need to have the exact size of rings for this (two sizes actually) for it to work.
We had an electricity blackout today so since I couldn't get to my pc to learn something else new, I made also a pair of earrings. The little beads on the earrings are some bone of some kinds, not sur what. Ordered them online from a bead shop in Australia.
The actual rings are bright aluminum, one of the favorite types of metal for working with chains. It's so light on my wrist, I can hardly feel it.

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My first pair of silver earrings  

Saturday, July 28, 2007

I think it's time I upgraded some of my materials from cheap wire to silver. So in honour of that, I made now my first pair of earrings. Bali caps and ear wire from Ebay and the silver core is wire from here. Thank god I found a distributor of silver wire here, so I don't have to pay outrageous shipping prices for the wire at least!
Even hubby noticed how different this pair is from whatever I did until now. I guess the silver really shines through!

For any enquiries about this pair, please send me an email or leave me a comment with your email addy to contact you.

Here is another pair I just finished now. Ran out of silver wire, must buy more on Monday, grrrr.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Another exercise in wire. This time I used coils at the end of the elements, which I find it gives the bracelet a sort of Greek flair. Thus I've named it Hellas :)
This one has larger coils and it's chunkier than the previous wire tattoo bracelet. I quite like shaping the wire and it's interesting working without beads, for a change.
It was fun to make this different clasp from the regular clasps I've been doing to end the bracelets.

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Don't judge a book by its cover  

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I was cleaning out my shelf of older books to bring them on Saturday to St. Pauls church charity bookshop. These were long on my TBR pile and I knew that I wouldn't read them soon.
One of the books I intended to just give away without reading is Replay by Ken Grimwood. The book is a hardcover, tattered and battered, with dust jacket torn in places, the pages rather wavy, nothing appealing about it.

I checked on Bookmooch for the title, and I noticed that it was a highly wishlisted book. I got intrigued by that, of course, and decided to flip through it afterall.

Started reading it during the evening and finished it the next evening afer work. It was THAT good! And thinking that I wanted to just donate it without reading because the book was not in pristine condition (and quite old, from the late 80's).
It turned out to be one of the best books that I've ever read!! (and I've read a couple of thousand books by now).

The story is one that appeals to fans of time-travel, of questions like 'what if I can live again, would I do it in a different way next time'?
Jeff Winston dies at his desk at work while talking on the phone with his wife. He then wakes up a full-fledged 18 back in college, with the mind of a 40 years old, since he retained all the memories of his past life...
I won't disclose more as to avoid spoilers, but if the subject intrigues you just a tiny bit, read it! It might be difficult to find, as it's an older book, but it's worth searching! I added it to Bookmooch.com and it was requested soon after.

So even though the physical appearances of a book might not be what one calls 'in pristine condition', even though you just want to throw it away as it looks that bad, don't judge a book by its cover. You might throw away a gem!

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Wire tattoo  

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I was playing this afternoon with wire, from a book by Linda Jones (Creating Wire and Beaded Jewelry), and made this little eyelet chain. It's so small and fun on my wrist, it looks like a tattoo :) It's good exercise with wire, in getting more used to it, how it can bend, what one can do with it.

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Cream set with copper  

Sunday, July 22, 2007

While everybody else is busy reading the latest Harry Potter book (I've ordered it from Play.com, it should take a week for it to arrive, but it's worth it as it'll cost me exactly half than I could buy it for here in Cyprus), I am busy making this bracelet and earrings set. Wrapped beads, one caged bead, scrolls, quite a few wire wrapping techniques included here, to practice.
Everything is done by me, including the earwires and clasp.

Also made two pairs of earrings during the afternoon. Now off to read...

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Small set  

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I made this pair of earrings a few days ago, and today while I was wearing them at work, I felt them rather orphaned, with nothing else to accompany them. So tonight I made this quick bracelet. I feel there's something missing, maybe a larger and bolder stone in the middle, or some wrapped beads, I don't know... I find it too plain, but can't think of anything else to make with these weird shaped beads...The clasp is not the greatest either, I can see that.

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Just some earrings  

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Only a pair of earrings from me today. I started working on them yesterday afternoon but I was more in the mood to read, so I was the whole evening on the balcony reading Megan's Mark by Lora Leigh, a nice paranormal/sci-fi steamy romance :)
Today I had a girl from work over for half an hour which extended to over 2.5 hours of chatting, looking at my books, etc. When she saw my two rooms full of books she said I should open a library. Too bad the Cypriots don't read books.
So what was left of the evening I managed to finish this pair. Still practicing the basic loops and wraps, which the way I see it do need practicing *sigh*.

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First wire bracelet  

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I made this yesterday afternoon. The wrapped bead was in one of the projects on Sharilyn Miller's DVD that I'm working from.
The bracelet lets a lot to be desired, but it was a hell of a practice in caged beads and making scrolls, lol! As it's my first, I'll keep it in my scrap box to look back at it and see my - hopefully - progress with wirewrapping.

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Instant gratification  

Sunday, July 15, 2007

I stole this subject from my friend Alex, who told me yesterday, upon my complaint that my wire wrapping skills take so long to develop, that as a Taurus, I need instant gratification, quick results, and that's why I don't see myself progressing so well. How true, LOL!

So this morning I put aside for a few minutes the wrapped loops and did these pairs of earrings. No great by all means, but did wonders for my instant gratification needs *grins*.

Later in the afternoon...
Here is my somewhat wearable wrapped briolette. I've killed a lot of wire and cracked another bead until I got this far. But finally I have one that doesn't cry 'yiuck'. Or does it?

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My July reading reviews  

Friday, July 13, 2007

I've just completed my second book review for the July TBR support group. You can find both reviews here:
No Regrets by Shannon K. Butcher and Dark Moon by Lori Handeland.

Both are nice beach reads, the first a romantic suspense, typical of its genre, and the second a paranormal romance about werewolves, the third one in the Moon series.
I recommend both for a few lazy afternoons, when the brain wants just to be drifted away in another, exotic, sensual and dangerous world...

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another bead  

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Ok, after another half a dozen trials, I made another bead which is slightly better than the one posted before. (haven't filed the ends, because I will re-wrap the bead with new wire, for practice, so don't look closely there!).
This is after I changed a little bit from the exact instructions given in the DVD.
One thing I learned here is that even the best instructions might not need followed completely to the letter, as what works for one, might not work as well for another.
The DVD shows how to wrap with the chain nose pliers, but after a lot of failed trials, when I decided to wrap with my fingers, as I've also seen in some online tutorials done, the wraps came much closer to each other, much neater. The reason is that the thin wire I am using is much easier malleable with the fingers which have access to the exact spot you need, than a tool that you hold at the end of the wire somewhere.
So now I know that I will follow the DVD as guidance, but not as wrapping-bible, and will try to find my own style in the process.
One thing I've noticed in the DVD that I found funny: for the first wrap, she puts the wire at the very end of the round nose pliers, but for the second wrap, she puts it in the middle of the pliers. Small thing, but once I noticed it, I always wince whenever I see that. The two loops are not the same if they are not placed in the same place both times.

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Ahead with it  

This morning I had 5 minutes before going to work, so I decided to quickly practice the loops on another bead. And this is the result. Far from being great or even good, this is still the best I did so far, so I am quite pleased with my progress, as I can see the difference from one bead to another. This was the first I made without the DVD in front of me, and I even put a spiral on it, yay!!
I think I will have a 'scraps' box where I will put all these first attempts, to go through them with nostalgy when I will be a famous designer, LOL!

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Wirework - back to basics  

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I tried wirework a few months back and I gave up. Simply couldn't do it. Then tried chainmail, that went well, but I ran out of rings, so I had to order some more from The Ring Lord in Canada. So in the meantime I went back to beading, my comfort zone, which my previous posts show *grins*.

I now decided that I will conquer my wirework 'block' and learn it. So I went back to basics. I ordered a while ago a great DVD called Tribal Treasures by Sharilyn Miller, and yesterday I started watching it and practicing. After I got the hang of doing 'egyptian coils' (that's how I call them anyway), I tried to do wrapped eye loops. And gave up, I couldn't even finish the process.
Today I started again. And, as horrible as they are, at least I managed to do a few from start to finish following the DVD instructions. Although I still have a long way ahead of me, I do see a difference between the first and the last in the picture. So I guess there is hope for me, afterwall :) Of course, I need to practice, practice, practice...
Btw, I highly recommend this DVD to any aspiring wire jeweller!

If any wireworker has some good ideas, tips for me, I welcome them :)

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Summer Breeze  

Sunday, July 8, 2007

...and more netting...
Based on a netting pattern called Ribbon Lace that I bought from Thebeadcoop.com last week, this is a nice and fluffy choker for summer. Due to the bold colors I chose to work with, I had to be careful in combining them, as it's very easy to create a 'children's necklace' instead of a delicate women's summer piece.
I have just the perfect dress to go with this...

A few hours later...

And here is the choker 'dressed'...

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More netting  

Friday, July 6, 2007

Here is another necklace I made during the week. Light green with white Toho beads with Czech faceted glassbeads in the middle. Must be very nice on tanned skin, so fashionable in summer.

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New display  

Thursday, July 5, 2007

I took one week holidays, and my brother came from Germany. We spent all the days at the beach. He left very early this morning, so today and tomorrow I'm at home, before going back to work.
I went downtown shopping, and found a small necklace display very cheap. They had only this small one in black, but they will bring larger displays and in white as well. In the meantime I bought this, and tried it out with the Atlantis choker.
I definitely need a bigger display later on, as this picture might give the wrong idea how big or small the choker really is...

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